Success Tips for a Problem-Free Life
We’re met with various reactions when we tell people that we create mindfulness gemstone intention waist beads. The most common reaction is the blank stare. The runner-up is the confused look. Our recent favorite is the defensive comment, “That sounds like jewelry for people with problems.” Well, yes! And that's a good thing! We continued the discussion.
To her, some people have easily identifiable problems, such as addictions or road rage. Others have less identifiable problems, such as organized hoarding or chronic dissatisfaction. Then there are people like her who don’t have problems.
We asked her how it is possible to be problem-free. Surely throughout our lives we constantly work to achieve goals, from making it to class on time to baking a cake that doesn’t stick to the pan. Those who experience repetitive tardiness or recurring forgetfulness refer to the difficulties as problems. Everyone has problems! Not so, said the Perfect Woman, when one focuses on solutions.
We considered her perspective. Are people without problems really more adept at understanding and therefore remedying problems quickly? We decided to write out a problem-solving process to see it on paper and gain insight. Let’s play this out using the example above regarding lateness.
9 Steps to Becoming Problem-Free
1. Become aware of the problem.
I identify being late for class as a problem because I get in trouble at school and at home. It also throws off my morning because I don’t have time to eat breakfast and my mind feels foggy.
2. Consider why you were late.
I overslept because I didn’t hear the alarm. Just slept right through it.
3. Consider why you didn’t hear the alarm.
I was exhausted from staying up late to finish my homework.
4. Connect exhaustion to sleep.
I sleep harder when I’m exhausted. Completely knock out into a deep sleep.
5. Think about the consequences, the bad and the good.
The bad – I get detention when I’m late and I have to stay after school.
The good – Going directly to detention means I start my homework sooner and can finish earlier. Then I get to bed on time and wake up on time. I actually benefit from being late, which is why it’s a problem that I haven’t solved.
6. Consider how to reduce lateness in the future.
I can use a backup alarm or start my homework on the train ride home.
7. Keep going. Consider how you can prevent sleeping through the alarm.
I can turn up the volume when I set the alarm and keep my phone next to my bed on the charger. That should scare the sleep out of me.
8. Think about how you can interrupt the exhaustion-sleep connection.
I can talk to my teachers at school and let them know that I’m experiencing difficulty with the workload. I can study with my friends at the library, which is closer to school. Having a study buddy will help me learn and understand things better. I can do some studying on the weekends. I can get a tutor. I can also try to get to bed at the same time each night so that my body starts to get the timing and wakes me up naturally. I really hate alarms in the morning!
9. Consider anyone else affected by the lateness.
I need to apologize to my teacher for interrupting class when I’m late. I know I have a bad attitude because I’m embarrassed. It’s not her fault though.
Conclusion: Everyone experiences challenges, but not everyone considers them to be problems. People who consider themselves problem-free define challenges as insignificant and instead go through the problem-solving process quickly by focusing on the latter part: the resolution. Problem-free people are solution-focused. Problem-free people may also enjoy the process of figuring out solutions, exploring possibilities, and trying alternatives. They are journey oriented, instead of destination oriented.
For folks who want to improve their problem-solving skills and who need extra help remembering the steps, let your waist beads support your path. Waist beads can be worn at any step in the process. In fact, gemstones can help one to: raise awareness, improve memory, focus on finding solutions, get the courage to admit fault, change, relax, study, etc. Let us assist your goal to become problem-free.
Want another example? Keep reading.
1. Problem: My cakes never come out of the pan. I want to bake something special for someone, a birthday cake, for example. But something always goes wrong. It’s frustrating and embarrassing.
2. Contributing factors: I do too many things at the same time. I multitask. Just not effectively I guess.
3. The first factor: This time, I got distracted and forget to grease the pan.
4. Connect the factors: I think it’s important to wash the dirty dishes as I go along so that I don’t feel overwhelmed at the end of the cooking process. Then the phone will ring or I’ll get that cleaning momentum and start cleaning something else in the house. If the music is loud or if I am in another room, I might not hear the timer. Or maybe I overestimate the non-stick abilities of my pans.
5. Think about the consequences, the bad and the good.
The bad – My cake sticks to the sides of the pan. I scratched up the pan trying to remove larger pieces that I was going to stick back together with frosting or something.
The good – I’ve created some very interesting, artsy-looking cakes in very original designs. I feel like a cooking show contestant when it works out.
6. Reduce future factors: I can wait to talk on the phone after the making and baking process. I can practice mindfulness and just be physically and mentally present in the kitchen the entire time.
7. Prevent first factor from happening: I can actually follow the directions! That seems obvious, but I have an unconscious aversion to staying on script. I’m a rebel!
8. Interrupt the connecting factors to make the problem less likely to happen: I just need to focus on one task at a time and fight the urge to do many things, even if I think they’re connected, because that’s how I start skipping over tasks. It’s a self-control issue, maybe. Or a discipline issue. I need to slow down, calm my anxiety, and focus.
9. Who else is affected by this: My son is affected because he’s usually the person who rescues the cake from the oven, turns down the music, turns off the timer, finishes washing the dishes, or whatever my attention span hasn’t allowed me to complete. I appreciate him. I also realize that by doing that for me, I don’t receive the full consequences of my actions. He makes it easy to continue doing what I'm doing. If I had to clean up after myself, would I be more aware of my disorganization? Perhaps. I need to have a talk with him that helps us both.